Canadians help fight for ‘defiled’ girls in Kenya

Every once in awhile, I have to pass along something that has deeply moved me.

In our world of internet overload, it is easy to pass by those computer generated messages asking for our attention. But here's one I hope you'll pay attention to. Please read this article in The Toronto Star about 160 girls in Kenya who have banded together to challenge the rape laws. These girls are as young as three and as old as eighteen. All have been raped and their rapists have not been prosecuted.

The article is written by Heather Mallick and its about a Canadian lawyer who is championing the cause of these courageous young woman. Here's an excerpt:

    In Kenya, the rape of little girls is known legally as “defilement.” Defiling is common there — a woman/girl is raped every 30 minutes — but even girl babies as young as three months are helpless meat for men who know they’ll never be prosecuted for the worst brutality imaginable.

    These child victims are the loneliest girls in the world. They are often orphaned by AIDS and are vulnerable to attacks by their remaining family as well as strangers. The myth that having sex with a virgin is a cure for HIV/AIDS is also a spur, and not just for pedophiles.

    But a Canadian lawyer named Fiona Sampson has joined with Kenyan colleagues and politicians at their request in a legal challenge to force the Kenyan government to enforce existing laws against the sexual torture of children.

    The project, colloquially known as the “160 Girls” case, a venture of Sampson’s The Equality Effect organization, has brought together 160 rape victims to fight for protection.

And there are others. This past week, my dear friend, Jane Roos, raised $130,000 by putting on a fundraiser in Toronto. Here's her note back to me about the event:

    Hi Silken,

    I want to thank you for contributing to the launch of 160 Girls Fundraiser last Wednesday September 29th, 2010 the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom. The event was created in just over 2 weeks....our costs for the night were $617.14 and we raised over $130,000! A "launch" is not a destination but a beginning and now Fiona Sampson and her organization the equality effect can begin to seek justice for these brave 160 Girls.

    Since the evening I created a challenge for 160 people to raise $1000 each before October 31, 2010. If you would like to be one of the 160 people please let me know and I will send you your fundraising kit.

    “Once in a very long while, maybe a lifetime, you get to be part of an event that alters the way an entire country or even a continent sees itself. The process is usually daring, certainly time consuming, invariably costly, occasionally heart breaking and eventually an exercise so rewarding, it is the stuff of legends. The equality effect is all of that and something more than its sum.” ~Sally Armstrong, international award winning journalist

I feel privileged to have donated my time and money to an action item that helped raise these needed dollars. I hope you'll read Heather's article and visit The Equality Effect website yourself.